Post your tips for solid B on a short scale
I know Owen Biddle and Callowhill are pretty high profile proponents of terrific B strings on shorter scale bases. I have seen it argued here that long scale isnít required for that low end ďif you build it rightĒ.
But what does it take to accomplish a tight and satisfactory B in shorter scales? Iím planning a 33", but i know people go down to 30" or less. My case is less extreme, but Iím sure others would appreciate a stickyable trove of what works for the experienced builders.
What do you see as key here?
Stiffness is your friend. Make the neck out of the toughest, stiffest wood and keep it on the fat/wide side.
My personal view is that the sound can be good but it can be a bit too "flappy" under your fingers, so you'll have to use a pretty heavy gauge.
I've made 5ers and 6ers in 32" scale and the B sounded good... never made a 5 30" because nobody ever asked for it but I'd personally recommend it only to players with very light touch and specific needs.
Hmm, good point Triad. I forgot about the playability/feel factor being just as important and something short-scale detractors are quick to point out.
Fatter gauge strings or balanced-tension sets like Circle K should help even out the feel of a floppy string. Anything else that affects the “feel” portion of the equation?
I just recently sold a 30" scale 5 string. Not the first one I've made. All of them had nice clear low B's using medium gauge strings.
I've tried twice to make a 32" with a low B. Each time the low B came out slightly floppy and sounding like mud. Wound up stringing them E-C.
For some reason I can get them to sound good at 30" and 35", but I just don't like the way they sound in between.
Don't think I've managed to be of any help, but I wish you good luck with your build.
I have done several 32 scale with low b and strung them with DR high beams never had a complaint. Don't go with TI flats though. Good luck and happy new year! :hyper:
Just finishing this bass. It's rocking a 33" inch B. Sounds as good or better than my old Stringray 5. The key as others have said... FAT gauge B string. It's running a .130". You could even go bigger than that.
Nice to hear it’s working so well, Rev.
So far no mentions of break angles, through body, etc…
As far as feel goes that's a personal thing. I like a full sounding B but I have to be able to articulate extremely short notes as well and the shorter scales dont work for me in that regard. I feel comfortable with 4 string basses in all scales but I have yet to play a bass with less than 35" scale that had a B string that was perfect for me personally.
My 34" 5-string has a .136 gauge B string. (Actually, it has a .136 Balanced 5-string set from Circle K, so it's .136, .102, .076, .057, and .041). The strings feel good and sound great. The open B has the same basic percussive, ringing timbre as the open E, A, D, and G strings, and since it's a balanced set, approximately the same feeling as well.
I'm quite pleased with the strings, and I plan to use them on every bass I build with anything lower than E1.
So my tip would be: Use the right string.
The stiffness of the string can also change the feel - I've had loose-sounding strings that felt pretty tight because they were so stiff, and real heavy-gauge, tight-sounding strings that felt more supple because of their flexibility. In fact, I believe Circle K even says on their website to order strings a size larger than you're used to, because they make unusually flexible strings to get richer harmonic content out of them and they feel looser than they are.
Edit: Beaten to the punch three different ways! XD As has been more succinctly said, use the right string. I've got a D'Addario .145 string tuned to A at 34" and it sounds fine - tuned up to B, it's massive!
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